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Great North Children's Hospital links with County Durham and Darlington

Closer links between two local NHS Trusts will benefit children's hospital services across the region.

The Great North Children's Hospital (GNCH), part of Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, are building on opportunities for joint working to deliver high quality care for children and young adults across the North East now and in the future.

Consultants from the GNCH are holding specialist clinics at Darlington Memorial Hospital and University Hospital of North Durham and consultants from Durham and Darlington are working part time at the Great North Children's Hospital to develop their special interests

Children in need of specialist care will benefit from referral to the Great North Children's Hospital from Durham and Darlington and there will also be collaboration between the Great North Children's Hospital and community paediatric services in Chester-le-Street and Stanley.

Dr John Furness, Clinical Lead for Children's Services at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said: "For many years we have worked in close collaboration with colleagues at Newcastle. In paediatrics, sometimes patients will need to go to specialist centres for care and treatment. By strengthening our links with the GNCH, the regional specialist centre for paediatrics, we can bring that expertise to patients in County Durham and Darlington and provide the best possible care for children as locally as possible. "

Sir Leonard Fenwick CBE, Chief Executive of Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: 'We are delighted to be operating in partnership with County Durham & Darlington health services so that the specialist needs of children, parents and carers are put first and foremost."

Stephen Eames, Chief Executive of County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said: "This is an exciting development for children's services in the region. By formalising the close links we have with The Great North Children's Hospital across our hospital sites at Bishop Auckland, Darlington Memorial and University Hospital of North Durham, as well as the community paediatric services at Chester-le-Street and Stanley, we believe we can further improve the quality of care provided for children in the North East."

'I feel it is important to relay my experience back to let the staff know they are doing a brilliant job! I would like them to know I appreciated all they did for myself, my family and our beautiful baby girl.'

Patient, Labour Ward, Darlington Memorial Hospital